Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan said that the Governor’s 38% approval rating in the Quinnipiac poll released today was “not unexpected.”
Corzine is undertaking some tough but necessary reforms in the state budget, Cryan said.
“The Governor has been dealing with the economic problems in the state. He’s not doling money out. We think that people ultimately are going to respect what we’re doing and it will put us in a positive position next year,” he said.
Nor was Cryan surprised by that the email controversy between Gov. Corzine and union leader Carla Katz, an ex-girlfriend, hasn’t stoked the public fury – despite GOP Chairman Tom Wilson’s push to make the emails public.
“Gee, Tom Wilson gets it wrong? What a surprise,” he said.
Wilson responded that the question about the emails was too broadly worded.
“I think if you asked people ‘d o you think that back channel communications between the governor and a union leader regarding contract negotiations should be made public, I think you’ll get a different response,” he said, adding that a single public opinion poll doesn’t make him doubt whether the emails are worth pursuing.
Wilson also doubted that the Governor’s approval rating is low because he’s making tough budget cuts, noting that a majority of respondents were specifically not happy with the Corzine’s performance in handling the budget.
“Anybody who’s trying to take solace and find something good in these numbers as it relates to Jon Corzine is engaged in the art of pure spinnery,” said Wilson.
As for the Senate race, Wilson went on to echo remarks the Zimmer campaign made earlier today: that Lautenberg remains under 50% in the polls, which he sees as a sign of vulnerability.
Fairleigh Dickinson University pollster Peter Woolley said that it’s tough for a Governor to be popular while making budget cuts. And although Lautenberg is under 50%, he still appears to have a strong advantage against Zimmer.
“Dick Zimmer started the race late and, in terms of name recognition and fundraising, he’s really starting from square zero. Frank Lautenberg is starting pretty far along,” he said. “I think it’s going to be an uphill struggle for Zimmer.”